Trapped in the wrong body? Forced sex change and reembodiment in the passion of new Eve and Mygale

Chung Hao Ku*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article studies two novels of involuntary sex change in order to critique the trope of bodily entrapment. In Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve (1977) and Thierry Jonquet’s Mygale (1984), the protagonists are forced to become female, but they do not remain men trapped in women’s bodies. By highlighting the trans, female, and narrative reembodiments in these two novels, I argue that the two texts unsettle the notion of sex/gender dimorphism embedded in the discourse of being trapped in the “wrong body.” Together, the specific reembodiments in the two novels suggest a paradigm shift from genital, binary, and identitarian concepts of sex and gender to open-ended, contingent, but not necessarily post-binary concepts of sex and gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-158
Number of pages26
JournalConcentric: Literary and Cultural Studies
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Body modification
  • Involuntary sex change
  • Reembodiment
  • Sex/gender dimorphism
  • Wrong body

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